Deja Vu All Over Again

The week before the Boundary Trail ride in 2006, we rode Ape Canyon and then dropped down to hit Blue Lake to the Kalama Horse Camp. About 500 yards from the Horse Camp, my Liquid suffered a compound fracture. Larsen tried to fix it with electrical tape – but to no avail.

Trek couldn’t get me a new frame in time and I was desperate for a bike. Jeff Byman came through with a Gary Fisher 293, the first 29 I’d ever ridden. The 293 performed well and I survived an epic adventure. I liked it so much, I bought the 292 I’ve ridden ever since.

Looks like I will have a chance to see if the magic comes around again.

Last weekend, I asked Jeff Muldoon to go through my 292 before next week’s 60 @ Sixty ride. He and Thomas Mueller found big-time play in the frame. At first, they thought new bushings would do the trick. Thomas made a call to the factory and arranged for express shipping so that he and Jeff could put the bike back together in short order. John Platt, who works for Trek, contacted a friend in Customer Service for advice and passed along directions for getting the most rapid service.

The feces hit the fan when Jeff took a closer look, discovered two fatal cracks in the frame and broke the news that the old girl would have to be put down.

How could this happen? I’d always treated the 292 with tender care, avoiding the bad stuff the other sick bastards ride and subjecting her to as little pain as possible.

I panicked. That bike had fit me perfectly. Now I was going to have to locate an emergency ride. 

I considered a quick-strike purchase, but Thomas reminded me that it usually takes three or more rides to get things dialed in on a new bike. And I didn’t have time for dialing in.

Ryan McMaster immediately volunteered his Heckler. Two problems. First, that bike is burly; Ryan has the juice to pedal it sixty miles but I’m not sure that I do. Second, if I rode the Heckler, Ryan would be on my Niner. I shuddered to think what would be left of that poor thing after McMaster pounded it across all that rough terrain.

The next message was from Paul. He offered his Turner Sultan. I hesitated because I know it’s a spendy ride, but Paul assured me the warranty is ironclad.

Jeff is putting on the grips, seat and pedals from my now deceased 292. I will take the Sultan for a test spin at Ape Canyon this weekend and, if things work out, ride it on the 23rd.

In the meantime, Jeff has already filed a warranty claim with Gary Fisher. Eventually, I might get a replacement frame.

Yes, it’s very cool that I get to ride a $6,000 bike. But here’s the best news – I have phenomenal friends.

 Now all I need is a little luck for next Friday.

2 thoughts on “Deja Vu All Over Again”

  1. Bummer “break”…they don’t call them Gary Fissures for nothing (inside joke from someone who used to be a warranty manager at a Trek/Fisher/Specialized shop). FYI-Specialized was always the best to work with and consistently had the lowest failure rate.

  2. Time to get a Kona! They never fail! Still riding my 1997 kona sex one. PS if you ever need a nice stop off/lunch area or camping spot along that kalama close to the Horse camp trails drop me a line. & if you dont know of the upper kalama falls its within a few miles of the trails as well, beautiful 40ft waterfall surrounded by old growth.

    PSS Still love Gulch riding, stuck up in Seattle for now but everytime I’m in town its so great to have those trails so close at hand.

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